Sunday, June 6, 2010


Usually I post lots of pics and very few words. I told you things were brewing here. I have attached two letters that I have written this past week. There is so much more I could share. Tami wrote a heartfelt letter to the school board and we have received many emails from the state, the superintendent, staff members and the school board. Bill has written letters and checked into the laws. But we have not been able to get them to let him walk in the ceremony. I wish they would take a second look at this. We will not stop this week and we are having his party as planned. On Tuesday night he received an honor for Advanced Ceramics from Mr. S. I am thankful for Levi's strength and courage in this disappointment. I am upset with the adults in this situation.
Here are the letters...

This week we were told by the principal of Lynden High school that Levi cannot graduate with his class on June 11. Levi has met all requirements for the school including credits and senior project. According to them he did not pass the reading HI
SPE(WASL) by 5 points. The state will not allow him to retake the test until August.
He is devastated by this news so close to gradation. As are we for him. He has worked so hard and they intend to not let him walk with his class. This is new territory because in the 6 years that Mr Baglio has been principal this has never happened. Now it is happening to Levi and another boy this year. We want to fight for them to walk with their class. We have written the school board and had many conversations with the superintendent Rick Thompson. The counselor at the school is on our side and so are many of the staff. So far Mr. Thompson's response has been that he would not support advocating against state standards. Our Argument would be that the graduation is a “Ceremony/Celebration” and the school it self puts it on. Actually no one is handed their diploma that night and we know Levi has to wait till August to receive his
We told Levi that this is an injustice and we are proud of all his accomplishments. It does not define him or all his hard work. Also we just received a notice that he will be receiveing an honor on Honors Night.
Now if we could just get the administration to remember why they have a job, for the kids!
Please join us in supporting Levi with prayer and encouragement. And pray that the hearts of those in charge may be changed.
The invitations were already in the mail when this happened but either way we will be honoring Levi on June 12th with a party.
If you have any ideas or questions please let us know. The other boys family has started a petition and we are looking into that and we plan on fighting up until the day of graduation.

Letter number 2

A few thoughts...
Levi should have had his parents present when he was told he was not graduating. Instead he was told in the art room. A meeting should have been called between Mr. Thompson, Mr. Baglio, Mrs Lynch, Levi and his parents.
It is possible this would have started out much better.
Instead a tearful Levi called to tell me he would not be graduating with his class on June 11th. I asked to speak to the principal Mr. Baglio who was very compassionate and sorry for the situation. I asked him to speak to the superintendent and if the answer was still no to have him call me. Obviously I was still thinking something could be done. Mr Baglio called me to tell me Mr hompson answer was no.
After I received no call from Mr Thompson I called him.
I don't remember much of that conversation just not allot was said other than there is nothing I can do its in the hands of the state. At this point I should have demanded a meeting. I regret that. I am not a fan of confrontation and I rarely ruffle feathers. But this is too big of a deal and we care to much to just let it go.
That night we decided to make a plan to fight for Levi to walk with his class. Bill started to email the state of Washington and we started to research online what could be done. We found out the school board was meeting Thursday night and we were told that we could attend and sign in to plead our case. GREAT! (we thought) so Bill called the acting president Gary Vis and he told us not to come because they would not have time to resolve this. Then we learned that the other boys family was there and we wished we had attended also. Now we are told that there are not any more meetings before graduation so it is too late. What, I ask, are we suppose to do? If we send heartfelt emails we are told we are angry. We are not angry but we are upset and sad. Sad for Levi and the other boy that got this information so soon before graduation. The only thing that matters here is these students. I am very thankful for the family members who have taken the time to email the school board members. They just love Levi. I guess in our minds there is still hope even though we have been told no several times.
We are going to per-sue some avenues the state gave us. They have been very helpful, even calling us on friday night and kind emails.
Even if there is no time to help Levi we want to make sure this does not happen to anybody else. We have a Junior at Lynden right now and she also has Dyslexia. How a test score can over ride all their hard work is beyond me.
Today I will be calling the counselor at the school to see if Levi qualifies for something called the WASL/grades comparison.

Attached is the email we received from the state and below that is the email we sent to them.
Chris Barron clearly states that participation in the ceremonies is up to the district and the school board.
Thank-you for taking the time to read though this.


Jerrie said...

Jodi, This has been on my heart and in my mind since I first learned about Levi.

I don't even have words. Just know that Troy and I are right behind you!

Congrats to Levi on his honors. I always love to see his ceramics here. They are wonderful! :)

Karen said...

If you do a petition---I'll sign it! Would getting all the parents and students in his class to join the fight help?
This is so sad and so unjust!
Dearest Levi-we love you and are so proud of you and hope that you can forgive this screwed-up system!
It is a good thing your radical aunt is in Holland---I would probably disgrace you by picketing the school and definitely the school board.
Keep fighting, Bill and Jodi, it is time that the right voices are heard!
We love you,
Auntie Karen

Janice said...

Oh Jodi what a heart ache!! A Graduation ceremony is just a formality - when I graduated SEVERAL people in my class didn't get their diploma until the end of the summer because they had to take a summer school class and or were naughty and had to put in work hours over the summer - same high school obviously. I am praying - for you and Bill - for Levi. He is such a sweet kid and he will rise above this - just too bad adults have to learn lessons by putting kids through rough things!

Sole Obsession Footwear said...

I feel so sad for you guys. What a disappointment during what is supposed to be a time of celebration. We'll come over and party with Levi instead. :)

michele said...

I am so sorry for all of this. I wish I would have read it sooner so I could have been praying early on. I will pray for your tonight. I hope you all have a relaxing, wonderful summer and I hope your voice has been heard.